Flying at Night

One of my favorite experiences. I made this for some writing contest but I never found out the results.


1. Flying at Night


My stomach is a churning mess, swirling and jumping to the slightest tremor. I gaze out the window with great expectancy to see my reflection gazing back at me. I push my vision pass to see the blanket of darkness, cracks of light breaking through the tight-strung fibers. I notice the slit of light bouncing off the wing and regret my choice of seats.

The plane lurches forward and we are gliding across the outlined path, the trail that will take me home. Excitement crawls down my throat and joins the assembly in my stomach, accompanied by anticipation, joy, and a slight longing to stay and further drink in the wonderment of Tampa Bay, Florida. The longing becomes a black widow spider, spinning a web and luring my emotions in. While my other thoughts clear away, my contradicted longing strengthens.

My thoughts are interrupted by our flight attendant.

“Okay everyone. We are about to take off! Wrap the belt across those slim waists of yours and we’ll be all ready.” The pace of the plane quickens and the roar of the engines, once faint, begin to pound in my ears. “Rolling, rolling, rolling down the runway.” The flight attendant’s southern accent rings in our ears. I can’t help myself and burst out laughing along with the other passengers. I glance next to me and see Jamie, my friend, also amused by the flight attendant. 

The sudden force and velocity of the plane throws us back in our seats and then we’re in a slanted position. Our angle increases, increases, increases. I feel the vibrations from the ground stop and I sit up to gaze out our window. We are humans, flightless creatures. But we can fly. The view catches my breath and yanks it away. I am in awe.

“For someone so afraid of heights,” Jamie comments, “I find it funny that you look out the window so long.” 

“I know, I know. But just look how beautiful it is.” I lean back to let her catch a glimpse of the view. This is no exaggeration. 

The ground reflects the sky, clusters of stars scattering the ground, creating new galaxies I have never known, the constellations new to me. My mind catches me off guard and begins to decipher the hidden messages on the earth. I look at the cities, now knots of glowing lights, and the highways, bands of bright bulbs connecting each family of stars. I watch some stars dim down and get swallowed by the surrounding darkness, dying, and others blossoming in the pitch and creating a new hearth. Life. It is a shimmering map that fills me with an intense wonderment. My eyes flicker towards each group, soaking in the details of the picture. I am well aware that this view is equivalent to no other. This is the view the heavens gaze upon in the evening.

My mind begins to stretch its creativity and I instantly reach my hand for the sketchbook in front of me. I open its ragged cover to a clean, fresh page and slip a pencil into my hand. In a graceful ark, I sweep my hand across the page, the pencil making sharp imprints.  I continue the process as an image begins to come forth, an outline coming to peer out of the shadows. Satisfied, I present the picture to Jamie.

“Well done.” She nods in appreciation. I grin and sway back into my chair, relaxed. My eyes droop and I slowly enter the darkness of the night sky.

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